Review: “Supernova 2022” (Latvia)

Latvia will use the mechanism of “Supernova 2022” to choose an artist and a song for Eurovision 2022.
Supernova” was the Latvian selection in the years 2015 – 2020.

This year, 17 artists will compete in “Supernova 2022” which will include 2 shows:
Semi-final on Saturday the 5th of February 2022, and grand-final on the 12th of February 2022.

In this post, I will review the 17 semi-finalists:

#1. Aminata – I’m Letting You Go

This is a singer – songwriter ballad.
The melody is based on piano playing. Aminata opens the song with her crystal clear voice.
The first verse is simple and reveals the story of missed love. You can hear a specific “rate” of the melody that sounds like you’re taking a step forward and stays in the same place for 2 seconds.
The pre-chorus is shorter than the first verse. She sings it a little bit faster and gives some hints to her high pitch. The chorus presents drama with her powerful voice. She shouts, but it isn’t loud, it is just emotional. A short instrumental part leads us to the second verse, where she reveals a softer side of her voice. The second pre-chorus is identical to the former one. This time, the chorus is longer and the piano playing wraps it more deeply, or let’s say to a dreamful fairytale.
The bridge is emotional and exposed, she deals with the fact her ex-partner won’t be with her anymore – “I know you’ll find/ You’ll find somebody /Who will be able to heal your soul“.
From this point of understanding, she grows and releases the pain. At this point, she outcries with her divine voice. And can I say? I have chills and goosebumps. She gives everything and we can’t ignore it. This song shows the magic of a simple but impactful song. I would like it to be a little bit more powerful, but nevertheless it is perfect. Aminata, thank you for the additional pearl.
I can’t compare it to “Love Injected“, but it is definitely beautiful.

#2. Beatrise Heislere – On the way home

It’s a dance-pop song.
The melody is based on guitar stringing and keyboard playing, alongside a dance beat with roots in 1980s music. The lead singer opens the song with a soft and sweet voice.
In the first verse, we can hear some resonating backing vocals. The pre-chorus has a faster rate, it is more energetic and the dance beat is getting stronger and has the type of a dance-club beat.
The chorus continues the line of the pre-chorus, but we can hear more of Beatrise’s voice.
Towards the end of the chorus, there’s a secondary beat composed of electrical keyboards. It connects us to the next part. The second verse has a similar style to the first verse, as it is more like a ballad piece. Once again, we get the pre-chorus, this time with a “heavier” presence of bass guitar.
The chorus is rhythmic and leads us to the secondary beat.
The bridge is a dance club piece where you mostly can hear the beat (and less singing).
The song ends with fast singing.
It is a pure dance-club pop song, the production is on point. I loved the way her voice is comibined in the melody. I think that if the song had a more modernism in the production, it could have been more convincing.

#3. Bermudu Divstūris – Bad

It’s a dance pop song with wide influences of the 1990s music.
The song starts with backing vocals humming. Thereafter, in the introduction (which is the chorus) we can hear the raspy voice of the lead singer. In addition, he is accompanied by the other band members.The chorus ends with the word “bad” which is probably the main word in the lyrics. Towards the end of the chorus, the way he sings it becomes annoying. We can hear a dance beat that decorates this part. After the chorus, there’s a short pop piece with one sentence, but in fact it is more enjoyable than the rest of the song, since we can hear more from his voice.
The chorus returns, this time with changes in the backing vocals lyrics.
He lingers on the pronunciation of the words, and sometimes it seems as a trial to make us forget the lacking of words in this song. The bridge is a rap section, again with no logic of the words.
The song ends with the pre-chorus.
I know that a lot of people like this song, but I find a lot of disadvantages in it.
First of all, there’s something dated in the production. Second of all, it almost has no lyrics, and when it has, they are strange. The structure of the song is something else we should point out.

#4.BUJĀNS – He, She, You & Me

It’s a dance-club song with elements of Russian pop.
The song starts with electonic beat and electric keyboard playing and some long notes by the singer.
The introduction is long and continues with the phrase “Come on, dream it now”.
The first verse relies on the constant monotonous beat. We can hear the 2 duo members singing.
The chorus shares the same melody as the introduction and it is a little beat faster. In the second half of the chorus, we can hear a secondary beat that makes the song more festive.
The second verse includes some broken words. In the second half of the second verse, it sounds like a power ballad. The kitschiness of the song reaches the highest possible level.
Thereafter, we get the same piece as in the introduction and once again the chorus.
I have a lot of criticism to share about this song. From the dated atmosphere, to the kitschy lyrics.
All I have to say is that this is the material to end up last in the semi-finals of Eurovision.

#5.Citi Zēni – Eat Your Salad

It is an entertaining glam cabaret rap pop song.
The song starts with a short instrumental composed of wind instruments.
The melody is stopped in order to emphasize the first row in the song.
The first verse is performed in fast singing, which limits in rap.
In the first verse, we can hear guitar playing as well.
The pre-chorus is festive and memorable, it is performed by several band members.
The chorus is performed in the form of “question and answer”. One line is performed by the lead singer, while the following is sung as “choir singing” by the others.
The second verse has a different melody, and it shows a process that you’re going through.
The chorus arrives again and the composition of all wind instruments is back again, this time with a solo section of trumpets. The song ends with 2 occurneces of the chorus until it slowly decays.
I will be honest, it isn’t my cup of tea, but at least it is original. I appreciate the diversity the song suggests by its melody. With the current version of the lyrics, the song won’t be able to travel to Eurovision, so I just wonder will it loose its magic?
Nevertheless, I think the idea in the lyrics is too wide and lacks leading motives.
When creating it, the focus was probably on the melody.

#6. Elīna Gluzunova – Es pabiju tur [Eng: I was there]

It’s a lullaby ballad in the Latvian language.
The song starts with a short instrumental part composed of keyboards and string instruments.
The first verse has a slow rate with a rich string melody. Very fast, we get the chorus which is performed in a soft velvet voice. She uses some high notes and calming interpretations.
After the chorus, we get a stronger dimension of cello playing. The chorus arrives once again with a more complicated production that includes several string instruments and a light percussion beat. Thereafter, the melody breaks into a different direction which demands her to use a higher tone of voice. We can hear some backing vocals in the background.
The song ends with a cello playing.
I appreciate the choice to sing in Latvian. You can tell that there’s a porfessional singer behine the song. However, it is a little bit flat and I feel that even as a disney lullaby, it could have been more impactful.

#7. Inspo – A Happy Place

It’s an acoustic indie ballad.
The song starts with acoustic guitar playing, the production is raw.
The first verse has a chilling vibe that is mostly affected by the pleasant voice of the lead singer.
The chorus has a similar sound to the first verse, but we can hear some more deep guitar playing in its production. The second verse is a little bit more rhythmic, with a light drum beat that’s mixed with the guitar playing. The chorus is magical and memorable.
There is something sincere and innocent, but charming at the same time.
We get a short electronic transition that leads us to the bridge which has a similar melody to the first verse. Her voice is divine at this point. The song ends with a strong electric guitar playing, which I found a little bit not connected to the rest of the song.
The song is radio-friendly, a middle-of-the-road in some sense, but it is still effective.
I can see why some people can say it is a typical mainstream song, but it is much more than this: it has its own identity.

#8.KATŌ – Promises

It’s a mid-tempo pop song.
The song starts with a digitally produced recorded voice.
Initially, the melody is based on electonic beat with some percussion elements.
KATO has a mid-low voice and she performs the first verse easily with joyful energy.
Pre-chorus is more rhythmic, it is sweet and sounds like a soundtrack of an American tennage dream movie. We can hear some backing vocals in parallel. Guitar playing decorates the end of the pre-chorus. The chorus doesn’t rely on many words, it is fresh, but could have been more grabbing.
The second chorus is built on backing vocals. The pre-chorus arrives and it is identical to the former one.
Let’s face it, she isn’t one of the greatest vocalists in the running.
The song sounds like the 2000’s pop, but at the same time it is refreshing.
With more effort on the chorus, it will have higher potential.

#9. Linda Rušeniece – Pay My Own Bills

It’s a powerful trap pop blues song.
The song starts with an instrumental part composed by bass and electric guitar.
Linda opens her part alongside the guitars, and for some moments it seems she is a little bit limited.
As the song progresses, the presence of the guitar becomes more dominant.
The chorus is more energetic and catchy, we can hear a combination of guitar, keyboards and trumpet. The second verse continues the line of the chorus.
The chorus came for the second time and exploded into drum playing.
The song is decent, I think there’s a gap between the quality of the verses and the quality of the chorus.

#10.Markus Riva – If You’re Gonna Love Me

It’s a mix of mid-tempo and ballad.
The melody is based on piano playing. Marukus opens the song effortlessly, with a light beat.
The song progresses into a drum beat, as Markus increases the volume of his singing.
For a moment, it seems like he is preparing the listener for a big chorus. However, the chorus is blended and flat, unfortunately it isn’t the peak of the song. The second verse returns to the region of piano ballads. Then. We got the chorus with a soft beat. It was followed by a bridge, where he stretched his vocal limits. It ends with his voice fading.
This is one of the most forgatable songs in the line-up. It didn’t impress me at all. We’ve heard a lot of such congs in the past, and it was namely around 2005.

#11. Mēs Jūs Mīlam – Rich Itch

It’s a hip-hop song with electric motives.
The song starts with drums playing. Afterwards, we get some synthesized beats and electric keyboards that build the melody. The singing part is done quickly, as we can describe in hip-hop genre. There’s a feeling that the rhythm is a little bit forced, or may I say the lyrics were written just to converge to the existing melody. The chorus includes electric guitar playing as well. The chorus ends with an electronic beat. Thereafter, we get the chorus once again, with a familiar 1980’s beat and the hip-hop singing. A short instrumental part arrives, and then we can hear him reciting some words in Italian. The song is finalized with the chorus.
It has potential, but it lacks structure which is important in every genre.
Repeating the chorus again and again doesn’t make it better. The Italian part is nothing but impiety. Luckily, they understood that 2:16 minutes was enough.

#12. Miks Dukurs – First Love

It’s a love ballad with some rock elements.
The song starts with piano playing. After a few seconds, we get the warning, accurate and pleasant voice of Miks. The atmosphere is romantic and intimate. His singing moves between powerful moments and some soft use of high voice. We can hear some backing vocals that support him.
The chorus is a little bit more sophisticated, even though it is short and doesn’t rely on many words.
After this, we get a transition section where we can hear a guitar solo playing that’s joined by some vocal improvisations. The second verse is a little bit darker, thanks to the meaningful lyrics and the guitar contribution. The second verse is already a piece of a rock song, and I like it.
We have another solo for electric guitar, but Miks continues to give some vocal improvisations in parallel.
I found this song wonderful. Miks stays faithful to himself as an artist.
It isn’t winning material I guess, but it is quality

#13. Patriks Peterson – Can’t Get You Outta My Head

It’s a theatrical mid-tempo ballad.
The song starts with a faded echo effect. Patriks opens the singing part with a deep but warming voice. The melody is very basic, it is composed of a reduced group of accords on the keyboards.
The chorus is much more convincing, he reveals another color of his voice, the melody has more “edges” and he performs it with some twists in his voice. The second verse is similar to the first one and maybe is too long. The chorus arrives once again and the song ends with wind instruments.
I found the song unique in the running. But I feel it isn’t strong enough to defeat other stronger songs. The second half of it should probably have any change in it.

#14.RAUM – Plans

It is a punk pop song, mixed with rap.
The song starts with guitar playing. The first part of it sounds like a piece of a teenage rock band’s song. Nevertheless, very fast it transforms into a different direction. The first verse is based on drum playing, a cyclic beat and simple singing. The chorus sounds like it was taken from a pop rock song from 2003 – 2007, and it isn’t relevant anymore. However, the chorus is stronger than the verses.
The second verse is performed in rap (out of nowhere). The melody of it is basic.
It ends with more occurrences of the chorus.
Unfortunately, another forgetable song in the line-up. It is messy and not impactful enough.

#15. The COCO’NUTS – In and out of the dark

It’s an Indie – blue song.
The lead singer has a unique voice. The song starts with a cracky electronic beat alongside the stroking singing of the lead singer. The first part is the chorus. Right after this, we will get the first verse. You can hear guitar plating alongside this special beat, she is being accompanied by a female back singer. The chorus comes almost immediately after it. We can hear male recorded voices later on. The second verse has more risks in it and I adore it. Thereafter, we can hear a guitar solo.
The final chorus is performed alongside a bass guitar.
It has been a while since we’ve received a good quality blues song in national selections.
I think the problem might be that it won’t be the cup of tea of many people.

#16. Zelma – How

It’s a pop-rock song.
The song starts with guitar playing. Zelma joins the song with a sensual and stable voice. You can feel the tension in her voice. Guitar solo leads us to the second verse. The second verse is also built on the basis of guitar playing and gentle beat. You can hear a male backing vocalist in the background and it is key to empower and empower the message of the song. The lyrics are morbisic, they talk about self-harm that is caused by unrequited love. The second verse ends with a massive instrumental part that’s composed of electric guitars. In the chorus, she outcries and uses the rapy side of her voice. You can feel her pain and tell how real it is. The same line continues until the last verse.
Seriously, it is one the best rock songs I’ve heard recently. The structure is excellent, her voice is strong enough and at the same time diverse.

#17.Miks Galvanovskis – I’m Just a Sinner [wildcard winner]

It’s a blues-rock hymn song with elements of the 1990’s music.
A massive guitar playing builds the introduction. Miks opens the singing with his smokey voice. Sometimes he roars to emphasise his voice. We can hear some backing vocals which add another dimension to the song. The second verse shares the same main idea as the first verse. But this time, the production is more “ready to go.” The chorus includes repeating of the same words as the title.
The chorus makes the song more into the direction of a rock hymn.
The second part of the song is much more into the blues – rock direction, with fast bass strining.
The song ends with a powerful singing.
Sadly, the wildcard winner is much better than some of the semi-finalists songs.
The song is powerful, but not very original. I think that backing vocals are as important as the guitars here.

My Personal Ranking

  1. Aminata – I’m Letting You Go
  2. Zelma – How
  3. Inspo – A Happy Place
  4. Miks Dukurs – First Love
  5. Beatrise Heislere – On the way home
  6. KATŌ – Promises
  7. Linda Rušeniece – Pay My Own Bills
  8. The COCO’NUTS – In and out of the dark
  9. Miks Galvanovskis – I’m Just a Sinner
  10. Patriks Peterson – Can’t Get You Outta My Head
  11. Citi Zēni – Eat Your Salad
  12. Elīna Gluzunova – Es pabiju tur [Eng: I was there]
  13. Bermudu Divstūris – Bad.
  14. Markus Riva – If You’re Gonna Love Me
  15. BUJĀNS – He, She, You & Me
  16. Mēs Jūs Mīlam – Rich Itch
  17. RAUM – Plans

My Prediction

I think that one of the following will probably win the selection: Aminata, BUJĀNS, Citi Zēni.

Which song is your favorite?
Who do you think will win “Supernova 2022?”
What do you think about our review?

Doron Lahav is 30-year-old, who lives in Israel. Doron has been watching the Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and shows interest in singing and writing.

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